N.C. A&T Sets 5th Consecutive Enrollment Record, Remains America’s Largest HBCU

By Todd Simmons / 09/04/2020 Admissions

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 4, 2020) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is off to a strong start of the 2020-21 school year, with a new census marking its fifth consecutive year of record enrollment and new rankings from Money magazine’s “Best Colleges” edition that rate A&T the No. 1 historically Black college or university in America.

A&T begins the year with a student headcount of 12,754, continuing a growth trend that began in 2013, when it became the largest HBCU in the nation, a status it has held now for seven consecutive years. The university charted its first record enrollment during that span in 2016, and set new high watermarks in 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2020.

A&T’s strategic plan calls for it to expand to an enrollment of 14,000 by 2023. Institutional leaders say they are on target to meet that goal, thanks to a comprehensive, methodical growth strategy that focused this year on graduate and online programs and drew record applications at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

“Growth this year required a laser-focused level of intentionality around our strategic goals combined with an awareness of our environment and the specific areas of growth we could responsibly support,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “We are very pleased with the contours of our enrollment as we begin the year, and tremendously proud of our continued ascent in key higher education rankings.”

Unlike in recent years, when strong growth at the new freshmen level served as the primary driver of A&T’s expansion, enrollment growth in masters programs and online degree programs as well as gains in retention were primarily responsible for this year’s bigger numbers.

New masters enrollment spiked by 22%, pushing overall post-baccalaureate and master's enrollment up by nearly 10% to a total of 1,184 and graduate enrollment overall to 1,623.

Student persistence was up by about 7% at both the junior and senior levels – a significant response to A&T efforts to improve the number and pace of undergraduates moving toward timely graduation. And online degree program enrollment jumped by 18%, with the overall population growing to 740.

With the novel coronavirus pandemic still causing concern among some prospective new first-year students and their families, first-year enrollment dipped slightly to 2,135. More than 160 students who had planned to enroll this fall deferred their start until the spring 2021 term in hopes that the COVID-19 situation will improve by then.

Still, the 2,135 new freshmen brought with them one of the best academic profiles of any entering class in A&T history, boasting an average GPA of 3.62, average SAT of 1,049 and average ACT of 20.

Media Contact Information: uncomm@ncat.edu

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